A 52-year-old man from Stilwell, Oklahoma, has surrendered to authorities in connection with an embezzlement case and a herd of cattle.
Johnny Ray Simmons is facing six counts of embezzlement in an investigation conducted by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Special Ranger Brett Wellden initiated the investigation in 2017 after being contacted by the victim, who stated that he and Simmons had partnered on a herd of cattle pastured on tribal lease lands in Northeastern Oklahoma. When the lease expired, the victim moved the cattle from the property and alleged that 103 were missing.
Through the course of the investigation, it was also discovered that Simmons failed, for several years, to pay the victim for calf crops as required by their agreement, according to authorities. Court records indicate that Simmons was previously convicted on two counts of embezzlement out of Adair County in March 2018. The facts involved in the prior conviction have striking similarities to the current case being investigated by Wellden.
A warrant was issued for Simmons’ arrest Aug. 29 and he surrendered to authorities a couple of weeks later. Simmons was subsequently booked into the Harper County Jail and released on a $150,000 bond. He now faces six counts of felony embezzlement, each of which carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison, fines of up to $10,000 and restitution to the victim.
Wellden advised cattle producers to be vigilant and keep good documentation to prevent similar crimes.